For the last 9 years, inbound marketing has been one of the most effective methods for content marketing on the web. Its main focus is on the creation of quality content that attracts prospective clients to your brand. This happens when you align the content that you publish with customer interests. Let us delve into why every content marketer needs to master inbound marketing:
Inbound marketing is a very strategic technique. It educates and nurtures prospective clients on their journey down the sales funnel. You provide value without asking for anything in return. This concept is based on the fact that before any customer contacts your sales person, they will have done some research online. You therefore need to provide this crucial information to your customer for them to find your brand.
Why every content marketer needs to master inbound marketingThere are a number of benefits of using inbound marketing:
1. Simplified marketingInbound marketing allows marketing and sales teams to work together to ensure that they are providing powerful, invaluable content for clients. The sales team have great information about customer needs and wants at different stages of the sales funnel. The marketing team will therefore build content based on this crucial customer information. The two teams can therefore work together to drive leads, nurture existing customers and increase conversion rates. The marketing team can also receive the problems and questions that clients may have, or even telephone and email conversations, and use them as the basis of creating valuable content, with the help of the sales team.
2. Increased brand visibility and awarenessProduction of content that is aligned with the customer’s journey down the sales funnel will enable them to find information about your brand during the initial stages. If you have high value content, they will gladly share it via social networks and even via word of mouth. This will increase your brand’s visibility and awareness. You will stand out as a reputable brand and credible resource.
3. Helps in coming up with a feasible content marketing strategyUnlike traditional outbound marketing where you put your brand out there for everyone, inbound marketing is based on the concept that the customer looks for the seller. 57 to 70% of prospective customers conduct research online before they contact the seller. As a content marketer, you need to do research so as to know where your prospects get information from. You also need to clearly define your buyer persona. This will help you know how to strategically distribute your information so that prospects can find it.
4. Increases trustInbound marketing is not intrusive. It allows customers to consume information at their own leisure, without being interrupted by calls or emails. Since it is largely on the buyer’s terms, ensure that you only pay your part by providing value. This way, you will gain their trust. Once they are ready to make a purchase, they will remember your brand.
5. Increases traffic and quality leadsWhile inbound marketing may not directly generate sales, it is more effective when the customer is doing research before settling on a product, service or brand. This approach to content marketing builds relationships that result in sales. If you have content that is targeted at your audience, it will result in increased traffic to your site. When prospects visit your site, you will lead them to purchase your product or brand via calls to action, more content offers and landing pages.
6. It ensures successful social prospectingSocial prospecting is the foundation on which inbound marketing is built. It entails ensuring that the first contact that a prospective customer makes with your brand ultimately results in a sale. When it is done correctly, your brand is seen as a relevant and reliable source of information. This concept ensures that content marketers begin to build a relationship with a buyer from the outset. This relationship is one of a trusted advisor. It increases brand awareness, as well as the content marketer’s.
How to get social prospecting rightThere are several facets of social prospecting:
- Customer relationship management (CRM) - understanding this aspect is crucial in helping in the management of communication with prospective clients
- Lead intelligence – the information that you derive from lead intelligence helps to prepare for the qualification of leads
- Social profiles – it is vital to know that as a content marketer, you need to showcase yourself as a 'person' to prospective clients. After you have created great content, the clients may want to interact with you more, because they know that you an authority. They may also want some clarification about your brand. You therefore need to have a complete profile on social media and respond to clients’ questions.
After you have posted a piece of content on your brand’s social media account, blog, website or You Tube channel, it will pay off to do the same on your personal social media account. This way, clients see you as a resourceful person, and will associate you with your brand. However, if you are in other forums, for instance, LinkedIn groups, only share content that will be relevant to the group. Sharing content about your brand may be seen as promotional, and will definitely put people off.